The Financial Blogger has a very interesting and creative couple of posts on viewing credit as a relationship. The first post draws parallels between applying for credit and wooing a potential mate, and the second equates credit problems with the relationship going sour.
This is a very interesting (and important) way of looking at your relationship with a lender. The posts repeatedly underline the fact that credit is all about trust. Banks are willing to loan you money only if they believe that you will pay them back. The cynical (or realistic?) among us might amend that to say that banks are willing to loan you money only if they believe that you will continue to make the minimum payment indefinitely, but it all comes to the same thing. Your lender is trusting you to make payments according to your contract with them. Without this trust, they will not lend you the money.
Too often, I think people overlook this trust aspect of a credit relationship. It's all too easy to complain about our credit card payments, and resent the money the bank is charging us, but the fact remains that we did borrow this money, and we did promise to pay it back.
I'm currently married to a considerable amount of consumer debt. In the context of this relationship, I guess you could say I'm working to "put the kids through school". Once they're out of the house, I hope to end this relationship amicably. I hope my bank will understand, and I'm sure Ms. Loonie will be happy to have me back as a one-woman man.